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Women battling infertility is a familiar though still harrowing story these days. Women using yoga to reduce stress and become more aware of its body and its rhythms is another. So it comes as no surprise that yoga is helping women to cope with the physical and emotional stress of infertility and its treatments. The New York Time’s article, “Yoga as Stress Relief: An Aid for Infertility?” raises this issue with a new twist: once-skeptical fertility specialists and doctors are beginning to give yoga the green light. The tide is turning in how acceptable yoga is to support women in their quest to become pregnant. Yoga is not a hard sell in the US where there are 6.7 million practitioners at last count. There are over 7 million women grappling with infertility at any given time in the US.
Yoga and Fertility: A Journey to Health and Healing is for those who have never done yoga before, as well as those with yoga experience, or who are currently taking a yoga class. Personal stories are woven into the text, so that women can relate to the author and others who have struggled with fertility challenges. The book includes suggestions for friends and family members to help them better understand the issues.
Yoga and Fertility: A Journey to Health and Healing will:
Offer yoga practices that women or couples struggling with fertility can do at home, or can use to modify their current yoga practices to better support fertility
Help women better understand some of the impediments to fertility, and how yoga practices can help overcome these
Offer some “case studies” of women who have successfully used yoga during their fertility journey
Motivate women and couples to use simple yoga, breathing and meditation practices to reduce the stress involved in fertility challenges
Briefly discuss other ways to support fertility, including diet, lifestyle, exercise, and complementary medicine such as acupuncture and massage
Jill Petigara is an Anusara-inspired yoga teacher and a member of the Yoga Alliance. Her classes draw from several different traditions including Iyengar, Vinyasa, and Anusara Yoga. Jill has taught yoga in a variety of settings including schools, studios, nursing homes, and corporate fitness facilities. She is a certified elementary school teacher, and has experience teaching yoga to children and teens. She hosts a tele-seminar Yoga for Fertility for RESOLVE the national infertility association
Lynn Jensen, RYT, MBA, offers Yoga for Fertility classes, workshops, retreats and private instruction in Seattle and Bellevue. The classes are designed for women or couples who are currently trying to conceive, either naturally or through assisted reproductive treatment programs. To date, Lynn’s classes have helped over a thousand women and couples on their journey to parenthood.
In addition to teaching Yoga for Fertility and all levels of Hatha Yoga, Lynn coteaches the Mind/Body program at the Northwest Center for Reproductive Sciences in Kirkland, and the Pacific Northwest Fertility clinic in Seattle. In 2006, she developed and taught the yoga curriculum for a University of Washington study, funded by the National Institute of Health, researching the effect of yoga on hot flashes.